The Turkish president calls the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi “a political assassination” and demands to know who ordered it. Recep Tayyip Erdogan also demands that all those involved in his “savage” murder, including foreign sponsors and accomplices, be punished.
“In recognizing the murder, the Saudi government has taken an important step,” he said in a speech to the parliamentary wing of his party in Ankara.[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
“The international conscience will only be appeased when all the people involved, from the executors to the sponsors, have been punished,” Erdogan said, proposing that the 18 suspects arrested in Saudi Arabia “be tried in Istanbul”.
Several elements, according to the Turkish press, link Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to the murder of dissident Khashoggi . The Saudis who would be responsible for the death of the 59-year-old man would indeed be directly linked to the Crown Prince and several of them were even photographed with him.
In addition, the Turkish press reported Monday that the leader of the 15 Saudis commando dispatched to Istanbul to kill Mr. Khashoggi called Prince Ben Salman’s cabinet director, Bader al-Asaker, “four times after the murder.”
A “planned” murder
Refuting the Saudi version of a brawl that went wrong, President Erdogan claimed that the killing of Jamal Khashoggi on October 2 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul was “planned.”
Erdogan said the 15 Saudi agents, who arrived in Istanbul separately on the day of the killing, had met at the consulate where the CCTV circuit had been “deactivated” that very morning.
The Turkish head of state pointed out that three other agents – who arrived the day before the assassination – carried out “scouting” in a forest in Istanbul as well as in the city of Yalova, located on the sea. from Marmara, 90 km south of Istanbul. Both sites are searched by Turkish police, who still have not found Khashoggi’s body.
President Erdogan did not specify what elements allowed him to make such statements.
He also did not mention the audio or video recordings that the press, citing Turkish officials, has been reporting since the beginning of the investigation and which testify to the murder and the comings and goings of the assassins in Istanbul.
“Why is [Khashoggi’s] body still not found? Asked the Turkish president in particular to question the thesis of the brawl that went wrong.
To spare the king, to omit to name the prince
Diplomatic rivals and economic partners, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have complex relations. That’s why President Erdogan tried to spare King Salman during his speech.
He said he was convinced that the Saudi king would cooperate with Turkey to complete the investigation.
Following a cabinet meeting chaired by King Salman, the Saudi government said in response to President Erdogan’s release that he will hold accountable to those responsible for the death of the Saudi opponent and to those responsible. who failed in their duty. Saudi Arabia confirmed last weekend that the journalist had died in a fight that went wrong at the Saudi consulate.
King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received two members of the murdered journalist’s family at Riyadh’s royal palace, according to the official SPA agency. A son of Mr. Khashoggi, named Salah, and a brother, named Sahel, received condolences from the royal family.
Mr. Khashoggi’s relatives also received Mr. Erdogan’s appeal. The Turkish president promised to “do everything” to “elucidate” the killing of Mr. Khashoggi, according to a presidential source. He added that Turkey would “follow this case” and that “all that is necessary will be done to elucidate this crime”.
In addition, Mr. Erdogan never mentioned the name of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was accused by the Turkish press of sponsoring the murder.
Embroiled in this political crisis, Saudi Arabia has also opened its international forum on investment in Riyadh. Nicknamed the “desert Davos,” the summit saw the number of its participants – foreign leaders and big business leaders – melt like snow in the sun over revelations about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
The killing has tarnished the image of Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter.
Annette Baker is the lead editor for Slap Coffee. Annette has been working as a freelance journalist for nearly a decade having published stories many print and digital publications including, The Plain Dealer, NPR and The Daily Mail. Annette is based in Boise and covers issues affecting her city and state of Idaho. When she’s not busy writing, Annette enjoys jogging.